• Felix Hernandez Celebrates 30 Years of Rhythm Revue with Gary Walker

    March 14, 2016. Posted by Corey Goldberg.

    Felix Hernandez joins Gary Walker in advance of the 30th anniversary Rhythm Revue Dance Party on March 16th to talk about the show's storied history at WBGO and play some of his favorites as a preview of this fantastic evening.

    Felix Gary edit

  • WBGO and SummerStage

    June 30, 2009. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Ledisi at SummerStage 6.28.09

    On Sunday, June 28, WBGO's Josh Jackson hosted a great concert at Central Park SummerStage. The performance began with New Orleans pianist Jonathan Batiste, who paid homage to the late Michael Jackson in both song and attire. Bassist Esperanza Spalding followed with a set that ran the gamut of funk to soul to Ella inspired scat.

    Closing the performance was rising star of soul and jazz, Ledisi (LED-ih-see as she pointed out several times from the stage and in cards handed out after the show). If the pronunciation of her name is a little confusing, there is no confusion what so ever about her voice or her command of the stage.

    There are a great number of WBGO partner events this summer, many of them at no cost. Please visit the WBGO Events page for full details.

  • HONOR! Sacred Ellington with Jessye Norman, Soprano

    March 10, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.


    Genesis!  Exodus!  Leviticus! Deuteronomy!

    Duke Ellington composed three Sacred Concerts, and in his lifetime each was performed once – the first at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in 1965, the second at St. John the Divine in New York in 1968, and the last at Westminster Abbey in London in 1973. Ellington's funeral took place at St. John the Divine at 112th and Amsterdam Avenue. It is a huge space, with a seating capacity of thousands who can look up and up and up to the vaulted ceiling. The cathedral has recently reopened after a thorough restoration. This past Saturday night, Carnegie Hall's HONOR! Series restaged music from the Sacred Concerts at St. John the Divine, and it was a sold out crowd. Read more

  • Odetta Comment and Painting

    December 11, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Odetta Painting

    Jeff Shlanger, a performance painter, was inspired to comment about our earlier post on Odetta.

    "Odetta at 19 was dressed in scarlet when she sang 'Another Man Done Gone' in New York for the first time at Yugoslav Hall in 1952. Her huge voice,' out of Alabama through classical training in Los Angeles, permanently thrilled and stunned a packed house."

    Jeff also shared the above MusicWitness image with us. It's called 'Hard Times: I Been Living with the Blues,' something he painted while Odetta was digging deep into the spirit of the blues live at the Knitting Factory in 1996. As the artist describes the work, "It features the singer wearing her medallion that says, "I AM." Odetta has always been all about Affirmation."


    February 20, 2008. Posted by Stevan Smith.

    What's going on all! Welcome to my blog series "DIGGIN' THE CLASSICS"! When new releases in the music world get slow, we all tend to dig into our collections for some vintage pleasure. Join me for my weekly (or whenever I feel like it) quest for soundtrack satisfaction. This is a blog for music lovers! "Walk With Me".

    This edition celebrates: Yusef Lateef- The Gentle Giant (1972)

    1. Nubian Lady
    2. Lowland Lullabye
    3. Hey Jude
    4. Jungle Plum
    5. The Poor Fishermen
    6. African Song
    7. Queen of the Night
    8. Below Yellow Bell

    Now I will admit, I am really picky when it comes to instrumental recordings. There has to be something powerful about a rhythm that speaks without words. Yusef Lateef is most definitely gifted in this area. Lateef defines his brand of music as "-insert here-", but don't call it jazz. "The Gentle Giant" is evidence of his unique talents. With Lateef playing various instruments (flute, tenor, and oboe) and a 9-minute cover of "Hey Jude" (?), there is enough variety on this album to prevent it from boring the "A.D.D." listener. One stand out track is, "Nubian Lady". The title say's it all. With it's melodic rhythms and ultra cool vibes, songs like these leave no room for words. That would just mess things up.
    "I'm smiling, but don't call it jazz fool!"

    Another track that stands out is "Queen of the Night" (must be something about the ladies). A funky track that has a bass line tailor made for hip-hop. It is this variety that makes this album one of his most interesting works. This Lp speaks to generations, and most likely opened the door for world music. Some refer to this album as being erratic compared to his prior works. I feel this is just a classic display of any artists' journey to evolve. This album is a honest contribution to the foundation of jaz......I mean "-insert here-". It dares to be different. ...And it is the "different" that makes it an instant classic.
    "What do you mean by different?"